2011 29 Aug

Foggia was selected as fuel stop for its location and reputation. There are very few airfields in southern Italy which have Avgas, offer customs and are close enough to the final destination of the day, Kerkira.
The lack of proper (fuel available) alternates for Kerkira, practically require the fuel stop to be close enough to allow for a return to the departure airfield even when over the final destination.
Unfortunately, Foggia did not live up to its good GA reputation (eddh.de, other sources). We lost more than an hour on fueling expensive at 3€/l (approx 16$/gal!!!) Avgas and watching an airport rep taking forever to print a paper slip to enable us to pay the landing fees of another twentyish Euros. To top it off, despite emails and phone calls ahead of time, customs was not organized as it should have been. We were lucky that this didn’t delay us any further.

While Greece took a lot of effort for flight planning and then the actual operation turned out to be very easy, Italy was quite the opposite. At first sight, Italy is pretty easy flight planning wise, but then turns out to be quite a pain for operation. Controllers tend to have a VFR-averse attitude and airspace structure is set to mainly keep you below 2000ft AGL. Despite this, I managed to get a decent economic cruising level of FL115 for the better part of the flight, but it required hints and suggestive communication all the time.
Also, the scenery along the Italian Adriatic coast is quite boring.

So based on our experience and the excellent reports out of Croatia (which we will fly through on the way back) I would advise against taking the Italian route unless necessary for weather or other reasons.

Planned Distance: 404 NM
Actually Flown Distance (TO to LDG): 424 NM
Top Ground Speed: 182 kts
Average Ground Speed: 153.5 kts
True Flight Time: 02:46
Block Time: 02:57

3 Responses to “Greece 2011: Lugano LSZA to Foggia LIBF”

  1. Luigi Wilmo Franceschetti Says:

    Dear Bernhard,

    it is not fair to advice Croatia instead of Italy, just because you landed in Foggia. Everybody knows that airports in Italy have to be avoided while you will find “no fee” private airfields on your routes (which they have AVGAS); just for your information, you could land, at least, in two private airfields (Vega ULM or Tannoja) which do have even facilities to sleep (Tannoja).
    I remind you that you have not needed custom from Italy to Greece, I do not know why you asked for: actually I flew to Kavala Airshow in May from Puglia to LGKR and from Kavala to Fano.

    Don’t take it bad, anybody who flies knows that Italy is actually the best for private airfield in Italy (again, it’s the only place where you do not pay), just take a looh on http://www.avioportolano.it or http://www.campidivolo.it

    RV-7 I-AMEL

  2. Bernhard Daenzer Says:


    thanks for your comment…
    i know all about the avioportolano, even own a copy.
    the problem is not italy to greece. the problem is switzerland/italy.
    even though we are part of schengen, we’re (fortunately) not in the e.u., so customs regulations still apply and are (unfortunately) poorly organized/very inconvenient.
    so essentially, we have to pass through a customs airport in italy (or another e.u. country to enter the e.u.), which rules many of the campi di volo out simply because of that. and of course, the alternate would need to be a customs field as well etc…
    croatia has the advantage that because it is also a non-member state, there are many smaller fields that offer customs automatically because of that fact and it doesn’t automatically mean large airport fees etc… as it does in a lot of cases with italy.
    of course, one could also do the customs at e.g. bolzano or somewhere in the north. this in turn means fueling at expensive italian avgas prices.
    at the moment when campi di volo can be accessed directly from switzerland, the whole story changes of course, and italy is a viable route again (but avoiding the official airports).

    cu around, Bernie

  3. Luigi Wilmo Franceschetti Says:

    Hi Bernhard,

    yes, I know that you need from Switzerland to Italy, I thought you were asking it for Greece-Italy.

    Nevertheless many small airfields which are less complicated do organize Custom on request. You will not find it in the AIP, but, just to name a few, Milano-Bresso or Modena (used to,I need to check).

    You can even land at La Comina (if your flying in the venetian area), a private airfield, again no fee, no problems and they call the police for the check and that’s it (it is the way how we do custom when we got o Croatia, because we need it too).

    If you “study” or you call (if somebody can speak italian), you will find a solution, because it is enough a docs check made by anybody, I remember that in Siracusa (to go to Tunis), friends have been checked by the Coastal Guard on request.


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